Beard of Wool: Santa Claus in Various Countries

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New Year holidays are coming which means it is high time to prepare for celebrations. These holidays imply not only eating, drinking and having entertainment but also presents. All children around the world write Christmas letters to Santa in order to get a desirable gift. In this regard, it is important to note that the world consists of a wide variety of culture and traditions. Therefore, each nation has its “own” Santa.

This article provides you with the opportunity to find out more about Christmas peculiarities in different countries. As a result, it would be fascinating to learn about Santa in various states that could help you in writing a school essay about winter holidays.

Italy – Babbo Natale

Babbo Natale is an Italian colleague of Santa Claus. In order to deliver gifts, Babbo Natale should go through the chimney just like his brothers. As any resident of the Apennines, he is a big fan of snack. On this matter, children leave a glass of milk and some cookies on the table in front of the chimney. By the way, Babbo Natale doesn’t give presents by himself. It is a responsibility of good fairy Befana. Children who behaved in a good manner during the year get presents, but those who had problems with behavior get coal ash.

Holland and Belgium – Sinterklaas

This character isn’t only a wizard but also a sailor. Sinterklaas or Saint Nicholas is named in honor of the bishop of Myra. Sinterklaas looked like a priest and at the end of November he arrived on a ship in the country and brought many gifts with himself. Sinterklaas has a staff of assistants whose work is to pack and deliver gifts to children. By the way, children find their presents in shoes.

Polland and Switzerland – Saint Nicholas

This character is very popular among the European countries. According to legend, Saint Nicholas resurrected innocent children who were killed by robbers. Nicholas is riding on his horse with a servant by the name of Black Peter (Zwarte Piet). Black Peter has a bag with gifts and rods. Gifts are for good children and rods are for bad ones. However, the matter is usually completed without spanking.

Finland – Joulupukki79s joulupukki

Now Finnish New Year’s hero is indistinguishable from the standard Santa: the same beard, red coat, and a kind smile. But it is today. In the old days, Joulupukki seemed less handsome. He had horns, wore goatskin and did not have a good humor. On the contrary, he terrified those children who behaved in a bad manner. He could take them till they start to behave appropriately.

China – Shan Da Lao Zhen

The difference between European and Asian Santa Claus is only in names and attire. The rest is the same. His mission is to appear in the children’s bedrooms on the New Year’s Eve and fill the socks hanging on the walls with presents. Besides, there are no deer and horses. Shan Da Lao Zhen is riding on a donkey.

Russia – Ded Moroz

“Old Man Frost”, often translated as “Grandfather Frost”, is the other variant of Santa Claus. Mostly, he is a character among the Slavic countries such as Russia and Ukraine. In contradistinction to Santa Claus, Father Frost doesn’t go through the chimney. Usually, children call him standing near the Christmas Tree. Then Father Frost comes and gives the presents. Moreover, Father Frost has an assistant who is called Snow Maiden. She is Father Frost’s grandchild and helps distribute presents for children. Father Frost doesn’t have special kind of transport, usually, he uses sled in order to deliver happiness to all children.

Sweden – Kris Kringle (Yulnissan, Yul Tomte Yolotomten)

There are two kinds of Santa in Sweden. The first one is stooped grandfather with gnarled nose and the second is a dwarf Yulnissaar. Both of them leave presents on windowsills. But the rule is the same: only good girls and boys receive presents. It depends on their behavior and diligence.

The USA – Santa Claus

It is significant to note that St. Nicholas also became the prototype of the famous Santa Claus. The well-known in Holland Sinterklaas moved to the USA thanks to the colonists who founded the city of New Amsterdam, which is now known as New York. This happened in the middle of XVIII century, and over the next century, Santa was the most popular character among all states of the USA. The first one who had a hand in promoting Santa was Clement Clarke Moore, who wrote the poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” The second one who bucked down to Santa was Thomas Nast. He was a painter who collaborated with different journalists. He published works in various magazines. His works looked like comics about the life of Santa. With each release, he added new features such as the North Pole, the book, where Santa writes down good and bad deeds of children, and others. By the way, Thomas Nast sketched Santa with himself. Fatness and a magnificent beard are evidence of this. But the “final” look of Santa was created by the Coca-Cola Company, particularly the artist Haddon Sundblom. He created the well-known look of Santa with a red coat, glasses, thin white gloves and a kind smile on face for one of the PR-campaigns of Coca-Cola Company.

So, when the New Year’s holidays come and pass, Santa Claus is not sent to the annual vacation. Instead, he starts to count how many days are left until the next Christmas. Moreover, during that time he works hard. He gathers orders for presents and answers the letters. Whether you believe in its existence or not, it depends on your choice. But for what do we have Christmas trees, presents, and wishes?

Therefore, wherever you were, in Sweden, the USA, Finland or Russia, all the children around the world are united by one thing that is belief. Belief in an amazing wizard who brings presents and makes the dreams come true.

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